Travel Tales: Chennai

08Sep06

It was over fourteen years ago, when for a little while, I used to call this city my home. But this has been one city I’ve never lost touch with. Be it the young girls adorned with jasmine flowers, or the rushing office goers commuting on the footboard of dusty green buses, the auto-wallahs who never switch their meter on but nevertheless always have one, the ecstatic and aromatic beaches, the erstwhile conservative outlooks that some say is changing of late, the Central Station that still radiates the nostalgic remains of the past, the gripping sticky sweaty heat that is sure to engulf you like you are out of a steam sauna.

The last of them greeted me with its most typical welcome when I reached Chennai. With the morning still dark, I stepped out from Central Station to be greeted by a swarm of auto-wallahs pushing against themselves in search of their first customer of the morning and a sudden smack of a gripping heat that slapped against my face. The latter reinstating the arrival of Chennai city.

Splashing some water over my face at the Free-for-use Civic restrooms and refreshing myself from the 6-hour train travel, I walked out nodding my head from east to west all the while to the relentless auto-wallahs who are but only too seasoned to keep up their pursuit, with my continual east-to-west nods only becoming a warm-up exercise for my neck, rather than conveying anything of meaning to them.

Ten minutes later, I found myself in a 1990ish model of an Ambassador taxi, that scurried me across the city through the breezy roads of the Marina beach, to the muddy rain-wrecked Old Mahabalipuram Road. This would eventually lead me to the guest house where I would be put up for the next few weeks.

The AC in the guest house was, well ironically, warming. A much needed relief from the sultry weather of the outside world – and it was only 7 in the morning. But when you are given an electric jug that heats water, EveryDay milk and Nescafe sachets to make your own coffee, a network line for internet, a mini-fridge to keep your soft drinks and water, this apart from the TV and the AC and the writing desk with a notepad and pen and a chair and a tea-pot and a telephone, then you would certainly feel your travel adventures have begun on a fair note! Add to that, breakfast and dinner served right where you are.

The only major downside though, is the long 1.5 hour journey from the guest house to my workplace, where my mobile (which has a local connection now) often slips into roaming automatically. For most other part, it’s been an interesting start. The travel adventures have just begun. And over the next few months, this could take me to a few cities across a few time zones.

It is said, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Mine could be a little more than twelve thousand miles, and the first few fair steps have been taken. May we live in interesting times.

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12 Responses to “Travel Tales: Chennai

  1. 1 Bewitching

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm… :)

  2. call me when u find time…

  3. call Mahen when you find time.

  4. 4 Kishore

    Bewitching,
    Hmmmmm.

    Mahen,
    I shall.

    Prat,
    Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Prat…. enna nakkalaaaa???? :)

  6. Mahen,
    Onnaku no nakkal, only phone call from Kishore. How did you know I speak Tamil?
    Kishore,
    Sorry bout using up your space for posting personal messages. I am sure you don’t mind :D

  7. Oh nee tamil pesuviyaaaa??? Ithukku per thaan pottu vaangurathu… hahaha… I dont know that u talk tamil… chumma oru try thaan… work out aayiduchu… ;-) epdi en idea…

  8. Prat: Oh nee tamil pesuviyaaaa??? Ithukku per thaan pottu vaangurathu… hahaha… I dont know that u talk tamil… chumma oru try thaan… work out aayiduchu… ;-) epdi en idea…

  9. Mahen,
    Naa enna laamo pesuven. Try romba nalla addichei, congratulations. Nandri vannakam.
    Kishore,
    Sorry.

  10. Mahen,
    Naa enna laamo pesuven. Try romba nalla addichei, congratulations. Nandri vannakam.
    Kishore,
    Sorry again.

  11. 11 Kishore

    Prat,
    The second instance of your comment happens to be the 500th comment on my blog! :)
    Congrats on being the 500th.. *clap clap clap*

  12. Kishore,
    Congrats to you for attracting such an esoteric audience.
    *wink wink*
    So what do I win?


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